Friday, December 23, 2011


Shop Indie Bookstores

Ellen Tebbits, Beverly Cleary, William Morrow & Company, 1951, 160 pp

Continuing my reading of Beverly Cleary's books as research on the 1950s, I read her second novel for middle-grade readers. Ellen Tebbits is a third grader with two main problems in life. She needs a best friend and she wants her teacher to like her so she can get picked to clap the erasers. Interesting to me because those were my main problems in third grade. She also has an over-protective mother who is a neat freak.

The story opens with a chapter about ballet class. Ellen has been made to wear long underwear because it is winter but she doesn't want anyone else to know and tries to hide it under her ballet outfit. It is funny but also captures those things that were so important yet made you feel so squeamish at the age of eight.

Despite all those points of similarity to my eight-year-old life, I didn't find this one as exciting as Henry Huggins. The girls in the story were so girly girl, while the boys seemed to have more fun. I suppose that is an accurate picture of how things were for us females in the 1950s.

(Ellen Tebbits is available in paperback on the shelf at Once Upon A Time and in other formats by order. To find it at your local bookstore click on the cover image above.)


  1. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Does't really capture the main problem or idea.

    1. Anonymous9:27 AM

      Totally correct!!!